While much of the country has been experiencing a heat wave, summer only officially starts later this month and with it will come some of the best things about the season including cookouts, lemonade and, of course, blockbusters at the box office!  There’s a lot happening on the silver screen.  Here’s a look at some of the most-anticipated summer films!

July 29

Cowboys and Aliens
Come on! What could be better than a good old western where, instead of their usual foes, the cowboys take on an entire alien invasion!  This premise has nerdy gun-toting movie-goers practically salivating in anticipation.  The action unfolds in 1800s Arizona where the cowboys are deeply embroiled in a battle with the Apache tribe when the unexpected (a spaceship!) comes up over the horizon.   Will the cowboys and Indians set aside their difference long enough to unite against a shared enemy?  I don’t know about you but I want to find out!  The cast is great (Daniel Craig, Olivia Wilde, Harrison Ford and Sam Rockwell), Jon Favreau (Iron Man) is directing and the script was penned by Star Trek writers, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.  Let’s hope that translates into one incredible movie!

The Smurfs (in 3D)
With 80s cartoons like Transformers and GI Joe being resurrected for this new generation, it was just a matter of time before The Smurfs were reloaded for the big screen.  Aside from the location, the storyline is basically the same as it has always been.  The Smurfs are being chased by the evil wizard Gargamel but here’s the twist – they run through a portal and end up in New York’s Central Park!  Of course, he finds a way to follow them and they must find a way to get back home before he catches up to them.

August 5

The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Set in modern-day San Francisco, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a cautionary tale about our eagerness to develop the intelligence and communication skills of apes (maybe they should see Project Nim).  Combining both real science and science fiction, the film highlights what can occur when a battle for supremacy erupts.  Although, Mark Wahlberg starred in the first Planet of the Apes reboot, James Franco takes the lead role in this movie.  Also, in a departure from the earlier films, this will be the first to use visual effects to create the apes rather than using costumed actors (I think the actors are more realistic looking but I digress).

The Change-up
In the vein of movies like Freaky Friday and Vice Versa, The Change-up features a body swap by people from different walks of life who get to try another person’s life for a while.  The story follows lawyer, Dave (Jason Bateman), a married father, and Mitch (Ryan Reynolds), a semi-employed bachelor.  Although the two grew up together, they’ve drifted apart but, after a drunken wish comes true, they learn more about each other than they ever bargained for!

August 12

30 Minutes or Less
Jesse Eigenberg is carving out a niche for himself as the nerdy underdog with movies like Zombieland, Adventureland and even The Social Network and his role in action-comedy, 30 Minutes or Less, will likely solidify his place among Hollywood’s up-and-comers.  In the film, Eisenberg is Nick, a pizza delivery guy in a small town whose boring existence is transformed when two criminals (Nick Swardson and the hilarious Danny McBride) give him a few hours to pull off a bank robbery.  Nick, along with his best friend, faces cops, assassins and more in their race to beat the clock.

August 19

Conan the Barbarian
Jason Momoa brings new life to the title role originally played by Arnold Schwarzeneggar (aside from age, something tells me Arnold is too busy with other things to have anything to do with this remake!).  Conan the Barbarian tells the tale of a fierce Cimmerian warrior (Momoa) who takes on unimaginable monsters and rivals in a quest to settle a score.  With the hope of the great nations of Hyboria resting on his shoulders, Conan realizes that there’s no room for failure.

Fright Night
Yet another remake this summer!  Fright Night revisits the original 1985 slasher classic and it actually looks decent.  Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) starts as Charlie Brewster, a high school senior who has finally been accepted by the in-crowd and is dating the most popular girl in school.  Life seems perfect (despite the fact that he’s cast his less cool best friend aside) until creepy stranger, Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves into the vacant house next door.  As is always the case in these films, the bad guy seems normal to everyone but one kid who sees right through him.  Without any help, Charlie must find a way to survive and rid the town of this monster before it’s too late.

One Day
Longing for a true romantic drama this summer? Look no further!  One Day is based on the best-selling novel of the same name and tells the story of Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) who meet on July 15, 1988 – the night of their college graduation.  While their instant connection is undeniable, they couldn’t be any more different.  Emma is an ambitious, hard-working girl with dreams and goals.  Dexter is wealthy and satisfied to live a bachelor’s life without taking anything too seriously.  The story follows Em and Dex through the ups and downs in their ever-changing friendship on one day, July 15th, every year for two decades.  If it’s anything like the book, it will not disappoint.

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World
Sooner or later, you knew it would happen – a fourth movie in the Spy Kids franchise is coming to a theater near you this summer.  Retired secret agent, Marissa Cortez Wilson (Jessica Alba) thought she had given up the spy life for good when she settled down, got married and became a mother.  Her life gets turned upside down when she’s called back into action to take on Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven), a maniac who is trying to take over the world.  The OSS realizes they need to call in as much help as possible and soon Marissa meets up with some familiar faces – Carmen (Alexa Vega) and Juni Cortez (Daryl Sabara).  Fans of the series will be thrilled to see their favourite Spy Kids all grown up!

August 26

Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark
I suspect that the title of this summer film won’t help scared audiences to sleep better at night after seeing it!  In Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, Alex (Guy Pearce), his girlfriend, Kim (Katie Holmes) and his daughter Sally (Bailee Madison) move into a 19th century mansion (first mistake!).  It doesn’t take Sally too long to realize that the original owner vanished into a secret lower level that barely keeps unfathomable creatures at bay.  After she accidentally opens the gateway, Sally realizes that her family’s only hope for survival rests on her ability to convince her father that the monsters are real!

Our Idiot Brother
This comedy might not open for another two months but Our Idiot Brother is already generating a lot of good buzz and has made it onto almost every must-see list of summer films.  Sisters, Liz (Emily Mortimer), Miranda (Elizabeth Banks) and Natalie (Zooey Deschanel), learn the true definition of “my brother’s keeper” when their brother, Ned (Paul Rudd), ends up homeless and jobless following a bad break-up.  Ned takes turns staying with each of his sister’s homes and, while he definitely ruffles some feathers, they begin to realize that maybe his happy-go-lucky approach to life isn’t so idiotic afterall.